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Reasons for not Having an Early Asteroid Mission

  • Edward Anders (a1)

Extract

Let me first emphasize the area of agreement with Professor Alfvén. I, too, believe that the asteroids are of very great scientific interest; great enough to justify space missions some day. What we differ on is the timing and target selection for these missions (Alfvén and Arrhenius, 1970, and in this volume). I look upon space missions as a tremendously expensive way of obtaining scientific data, which should not be attempted until all available alternatives are exhausted. Ground-based research on asteroids and meteorites is nowhere near exhaustion; on the contrary, it is moving at an impressive pace. If we maintain this pace for another decade or two, we will not only have answered most of the questions posed for an early mission, but will be able to come up with a more worthwhile, more informative mission.

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Copyright

References

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Alfvén, H., and Arrhenius, G. 1970, Mission to an Asteroid. Science 167,139141.
Anders, E. 1965, Fragmentation History of Asteroids.Icarus 4, 399408.
Anders, E. 1971, Meteorites and the Early Solar System. Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 9, 1–34.
Arnold,, J. R. 1965, The Origin of Meteorites as Small Bodies. II. The Model. Astrophys. J. 141, 15361547.
Bhandari, N. 1969, On Orbital Velocities of Some Stone Meteorites. Paper presented at the Cosmic Ray Conf. (Delhi).
Gehrels, T. 1970, Photometry of Asteroids. Surfaces and Interiors of Planets and Satellites(ed.,Dollfus, A. ), p. 319. Academic Press, Inc. New York.
Levin, B. Yu., and Simonenko, A. N. 1969, Meteorite Radiants and Orbits. Meteorite Research (ed.,Millman, P. M.), ch. 46, pp. 552558. D. Reidel. Dordrecht.
Lowrey, B. E. 1970, Orbital Evolution of Lost City Meteorite. GSFC preprint X–644–70–444.
McCord, T. B., Adams, J. B., and Johnson, T. V. 1970, Asteroid Vesta: Spectral Reflectivity and Compositional Implications. Science 168, 14451447.
Millman, P. M. 1969, Astronomical Information on Meteorite Orbits. Meteorite Research(ed.,Millman, P. M. ), ch. 45, pp. 541551. D. Reidel. Dordrecht.
Öpik, E. J. 1963, Survival of Comet Nuclei and the Asteroids. Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics 2 (ed.,Kopal, Z. ), pp. 219262. Academic Press, Inc.New York.
Wänke, H. 1966, Der Mond als Mutterkörper der Bronzit-Chondrite.Z. Naturforsch. A 21, 93110.
Wetherill, G. W. 1968, Dynamical Studies of Asteroidal and Cometary Orbits and Their Relation to the Origin of Meteorites. Origin and Distribution of the Elements (ed.,Ahrens, L.H. ), pp. 423443. Pergamon Press. Oxford.
Wetherill, G. W. 1969, Relationships Between Orbits and Sources of Chondritic Meteorites. Meteorite Research (ed.,Millman, P. M. ), ch. 48, pp. 573589. D. Reidel.Dordrecht.

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